The Importance of Choosing the Right Shoe

When it comes to being healthy, many people focus on eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. One aspect of being healthy people often overlook is wearing the proper shoes. By choosing shoes that are comfortable and fit you correctly, you can prevent many standard foot problems and contribute to the overall health of your body.

How the Right Shoe Can Impact You

Your feet serve as your body’s foundation and can help support you as you walk, run, stand or even sit. Wearing the right shoes can help prevent foot issues while allowing you to maintain your mobility. When you wear the right shoe for you, it will:

  • Cushion the foot: A shoe that fits correctly should provide plenty of cushion in the midsole. While your shoes do not reduce the amount of force that goes through the body, they do increase the time it takes force to apply to the body, giving it more time to adapt.
  • Support the foot: Shoes that fit correctly will aid in the alignment of your foot each time you step down on the ground.
  • Feel comfortable: If your shoe fits correctly, it will immediately feel comfortable from the first time you wear it.
  • Fit correctly: You should have some space at the end of your shoe, and it must be wide and long enough to fit your foot without feeling too tight.

How the Wrong Shoes Affect Your Body

Your shoes affect more than just your feet, and an incorrect fit can place a lot of stress on your feet, ankles and joints. As this pressure increases, it may cause pain or an injury. Some other issues that can occur when you wear the wrong shoes are:

  • The chance of injury increases: If you are wearing shoes that weren’t made for the exercise you’re performing or for your body, it causes a higher risk of injury.
  • Increase existing foot problems: Wearing an incorrect shoe can place stress on your hips, knees, ankles or feet and aggravate existing issues.
  • Cause stress to your bones and joints: Walking or standing in the incorrect shoes for a short period can cause major damage to your bones and joints.
  • Impact your gait: The shoes you wear can impact your gait since each step affects how the rest of your body follows. Any change in this process due to your shoes can cause injury or place excess stress on different areas of your body.
  • Damage your arches: Some people’s arches roll inward or not at all, and the shoes you wear can affect how your feet absorb shock and place additional stress on your joints.

How to Choose the Most Comfortable Shoe for You

As with most major decisions, choosing the right shoe will result from careful research. As you look for the most comfortable shoe for you, you’ll want to do the following:

  • Try on shoes later in the day: Your feet can swell during the day, especially after walking or standing. Trying on your shoes later in the afternoon or evening can help you ensure your shoes will be comfortable throughout the day.
  • Measure your feet: Your feet may go up and down in size, making it essential to measure them regularly. Different brands will also fit your feet differently, making it necessary to try on various shoes to find a pair that feels the most comfortable.
  • Consider your foot’s shape: Everyone’s foot is different due to features like flat feet or high arches. As you look for shoes, make sure they fit the shape of your feet, such as offering a wider toe box if you have high arches.
  • Choose a shoe that matches your activity: If you are buying shoes for running, you will want them to offer the right amount of cushion. If you’re wearing walking shoes, you want them to have enough stability. Match the footwear to the activity you plan on wearing them for so you have the best sneaker for foot comfort.
  • Walk around in the shoes: After trying on your shoes, walk around the store for a few minutes. As you walk, check that the shoe provides enough support and for any areas where the shoe rubs.
  • Think of your shoes as an investment: Buying shoes with the proper support and cushion may have a higher price tag than you typically pay. However, these shoes will generally last longer and provide better support than cheaper shoes.

How to Choose the Best Shoe for Running

Running is one of the few activities where your shoes can make or break your performance. Since your shoes undergo higher levels of friction while you run, it’s essential to invest in a pair that will provide support. As you look at running shoes, ask yourself the following questions to ensure you choose the right pair:

  • Where do I plan on running?
  • How much cushion do I want to feel?
  • How much support do I need?
  • Does the shoe feel comfortable as soon as I try it on?

What Shoe Supports Are Good for Foot Issues?

If you have foot or ankle issues, you can also get additional support with orthotics. These inserts slide into your shoes and provide additional cushion or stability for your feet. Bring your inserts when you try on shoes, as they will change how your shoe fits. Some of the most common orthotics are:

  • Heel cup: A heel cup can be rubber, foam or plastic and provides support around the heel while helping relieve pressure.
  • Arch supports: Arch supports treat issues with the foot and lower leg and can help support one area of the foot while providing relief for other areas. An arch support can also alter the foot’s alignment to improve conditions such as high arches or flat feet.
  • Metatarsal pad: A metatarsal pad relieves pressure and pain underneath the ball of the big toe by distributing pressure throughout the foot instead of focusing it on one spot.

Find Support for Your Feet at Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates

At Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates, our team of podiatrists is here to help you regardless of where you are on your shoe journey. If you aren’t sure how to choose the right shoe, we can offer expert advice and a wide selection of orthotics and vionic shoes for a more comfortable footwear experience. If you’ve tried several shoes and inserts without experiencing relief, we can perform diagnostics to determine your next step.

Call us at 360-754-3338 to schedule an appointment at our office and take the first step toward experiencing relief.


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